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Police in the animal kingdom

  1. Nov 20, 2008 #1
    Not sure if this is qualifies as biology but, I saw http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ybVb3t560oY" the other day and was wondering if there were any studies done revealing how animals maintain law and order, do buffalo herds or ant colonies have something resembling a justice system? As an economic student, it would be interesting to know how animals police behavior without government.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 23, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 20, 2008 #2


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    Got no resume in this specialty, but I have seen herds of horses, cows, etc establish pecking orders. Once every critter knows its place, things get tamer, and the lack of conflict benefits all. Incrementally, one individual can instigate some level of pressure or conflict to advance oneself without damaging the survival of the group. If the change is generally accepted, the stress level goes back to minimum.

    Cows have a hierarchy (royalty vs hoi-polloi), though performance issues can raise an individual's status in a herd.
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